Plenty of derbies afoot

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EXCITING times lie ahead in Scottish club rugby with the top 40 clubs – including eight from the Borders – featured.

The 10 Premiership teams, including Gala and Melrose, will kick-off on August 25, along with the 10-team National League featuring Selkirk, Kelso, Hawick and Jed-Forest. Peebles and Hawick YM will play in Championship B.

The new National League is going to be more competitive than ever, and Selkirk head coach Brian Cassidy knows the club’s 1st XV will have to hit the ground running.

“Letters have gone out to every player at the club, informing them when pre-season training starts, and also encouraging them to join a summer strength and conditioning programme being run in the new gym by Malcolm MacDougall and our development officer Iain Paxton.

“Although it seems like the old season has only just finished, I’m sure the boys appreciate we must start preparing the ground for the club’s 2012/2013 campaign if we’re going to taste success in the new league set-up.”

Selkirk will start their National League programme with a home game against Kelso on Saturday, August 25, followed by an away match at Mansfield Park against Hawick.

Selkirk’s full league fixture list is as follows: August 25, Kelso (H); September 1, Hawick (A), 8, Hamilton (H), 15, Hillhead Jordanhill (A), 22, Glasgow Hawks (H), 29, Watsonians (A); October 6, Jed-Forest (H), 13, Biggar (H), 20, Stewart’s Melville (A), 27, Kelso (A); November 3, Hawick (H); December 1, Hamilton (A), 22, Hillhead Jordanhill (H); January 5, Glasgow Hawks (A), 26, Watsonians (H); February 16, Jed-Forest (A), 23, Biggar (A); March 23, Stewart’s Melville (H); April 6, Play-off = Premier One 9 v National One 2.